The Soul of ManNovember 23, 2009 3:19 pm soul of man
The soul of man is the immortal nature of man. Paul wrote, “For who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? (I Cor. 2:11). The part that knows is the mind or heart. This is the inward part of man. There is an outward part of man (the body or the flesh) and an inward part of man (the spirit or soul) (2 Cor. 4:16).
The soul of man originates with God. God is the Father of spirits. “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Heb. 12:9). God gives each person a spirit or soul at the time of conception. When we die, the body and soul are separated. “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it” (Eccl. 12:7). Whenever Rachel died, the Bible states, “And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing, (for she died) that she called his name Benoni: but his father called him Benjamin” (Gen. 35:18). Whenever Jesus died, He stated, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46). His body was placed in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea and His spirit went to the Hadean realm in Paradise ((Luke 23:43). James affirms, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (James 2:26).
God created man in his image (Gen. 2:27). This means that since God is a spirit (John 4:24), man has a spirit too! Since man possesses a spirit/soul, he has intellect, reason, will, emotion and self-awareness (conscience). These characteristics separate man from animals. Animals do not have a spirit/soul. God freely allowed man to kill animals, especially for food. But, God forbade man from killing another human being.
Human beings are special in the sight of God. The scheme of redemption was purposed by God to save man from the consequences of sin. God shows His love for man by sending Jesus into this world to seek and save the lost (eternally damned because of sin). The value of the soul exceeds the value of the entire world. Jesus said, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Matt. 16:26).
There are several thoughts that I would like to make regarding the significance of the Bible’s teaching about the soul of man. First, the reality of the soul completely destroys the materialistic view of man. If organic, macro-evolution is true, then man does not possess a soul. Man would be nothing more than a mere animal. This theory is false! Second, reincarnation is false. This doctrine affirms that the soul must pass through numerous transmigrations before it reaches its final state. The doctrine of metempsychosis (the idea that at death the soul passes into another body, whether of an animal or a person) is false (Heb. 9:27)! Third, the idea of total hereditary depravity is false! This doctrine affirms that we are “born in sin.” However, since God is the originator of the soul of man, the soul must be pure at the time God creates it. The soul does not originate from the physical genetic material of the parents. Hence, there is no “inherited sin.” Each person sins whenever he/she transgresses the commandments of God (I John 3:4). Infants are born pure! Fourth, the scheme of redemption is valid and the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from sin (Heb. 9:14). If we accept the materialistic/humanistic view of the world, we eliminate the need for redemption. The fact that man possesses a soul, and that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) proves the need for a savior. We have just such a savior. It is Jesus Christ. Salvation is in Him and only in Him (Acts 4:12).